December 23, 2012

Clarice: She waits..... she hopes........

In October I had the opportunity to go to the Ukraine, to witness an orphan become a daughter.  To accompany a friend as she met her new daughter.   And via many prayer warriors and by God's provision I was also given the opportunity to spend some time in the "back" rooms of the orphanage.  The rooms sometimes referred to as the "laying rooms"....... the rooms where the children with mental disabilities live, and the children unable to prove that they don't have a mental disability because their physical disability prevents talking or communicating.  Most of these children were in beds.  Day after day...... in bed all the time.  Nothing to do.  No toys in sight.  Very few caretakers.   80 children - ZERO toys.

One of the children that I met was Clarice  (not her real name, rather the name she is listed under on Reece's Rainbow website).   You can meet her by going HERE to her profile and reading about her.......

I met her.  I hugged her.  I was able to walk with her and provide a special belt that allowed her to walk better.   I was able to see the DELIGHT in her smile, the DELIGHT in herself as she walked without holding a hand or the wall.  The joy is obvious in the video I have of her walking!!   She is 13 years old, she is tiny...... more the size of a 5 year old.   She is very, very close to walking by herself........ I'm guessing a week or two in a loving family environment, with loving arms to walk TOWARDS.... and she would be walking by herself.

My heart aches for her....... she is beautiful...... she smiles ALL. THE. TIME.   .......  she loves to go outside.   She LOVES to go outside.    Once a week..... yes, [only] once a week she gets to go outside for a little while, in the stroller, pushed by one of the two volunteers who take the children outside.

She smiles.
She waits.
She hopes.
She hopes..... it is her turn to go outside.    Outside where the air is fresh, the sky is blue and there are things to look at besides the four empty walls of the room.

Whenever the stroller is sitting empty, she climbs into it...... and sits....... and smiles..... and waits patiently ..... and hopes........ that it is her turn to go.

But repeatedly she is taken back out of the stroller, sometimes harshly.... and sometimes gently .... sometimes being patted on the head and told  "not today"..... other times being told things in a harsh voice (in Russian that I didn't understand) that would make her smile flicker and her eyes turn away.... she doesn't cry...... she doesn't protest....... she doesn't try to get back in the stroller.

She sits and smiles.... watching as people move about the room..... delighting when given eye contact ....... and she waits....... and hopes...... that the next time the stroller is empty..... the next time that she climbs into it..... it will be her turn.

She doesn't hope for a mama, she doesn't know what that would be like.
She doesn't hope for a family, she doesn't know what family is.
She doesn't hope for a home filled with happy chatter, loving arms to walk towards, toys to play with, windows to look out of and adventures to go on ........ because how can you hope for those things when you know nothing of them.

So..... instead.......

She sits.
She waits.
She hopes........that it is her turn to go for a ride in the stroller.

My heart breaks for all of the children that I met...... many whom I don't about whether they are available for adoption or not.   But Clarice... IS!! she is listed with Reece's Rainbow.  Would you join me in praying that Clarice's family will find her........ that her gentle spirit will soon know of more things to hope for.     She is 13.  Her time is running out.  One day........ she will get transferred to a place where there won't even be a stroller ride to look forward to.   Please pray she won't have to lose hope.

Are you her family?  Would you help me spread the word about Clarice?  Would you help me find her family for her.  Please share her picture, her profile.  

December 22, 2012

Nevin makes Christmas Treats

 In the kitchen!!  Christmas is coming!!
 (like he would ever eat a pretzel, a rolo OR a pecan!!)

I tried to help him do his last cookie sheet.......
as he was getting a little "weary", 
but I poured out a pile.... and just "spread" the pretzels out
...... oh, my..... "no, mom!  like this"  (they HAD to be in rows!!)

December 19, 2012

Bunny Ears for Santa!

From our family to yours.........  may you have a BLESSED and Merry Christmas!  
and of course, Nevin adds....... 
 a FUN  Christmas!!  
yup..... that's my Nevin........ bunny ears for Santa.

November 22, 2012

Thankful !!

Oh, my goodness it's been a long time since I've updated my blog!!  Facebook has taken it's toll on my blog..... but much has been going on..... I've recently been to the Ukraine and back and had my heart broken while I was there..... and am hoping to post more about it soon............

But for today!! 
My children are my heart.
(*these pictures were taken at our Buddy Walk 2012)

May 22, 2012

Rosie is BETTER!!

Rosie is doing better!! 
She was diagnosed as having Addison's disease.    We nearly lost her and still struggle a bit trying to find balance (with awareness and medication)..... but we are thankful that we hopefully will have many years yet to share with her. 
In the midst of diagnosis, we also discovered a couple large lumps, that the vet did not like the "feel" of ..... so she had surgery to biopsy/remove and make sure that cancer wasn't the underlying "stress" that had  tripped her  undiagnosed Addison's disease into a full blown, near fatal Addisonian crisis.  Because of her Addison's, her recovery was a little longer and more difficult..... but worth the "all-clear" diagnosis.    

But Nevin has definitely had his share of "fretting over her".
He did a great job of helping her stay calm and hold still while I did the daily bandage changes.

Thank you for your prayers..... our hearts are grateful.

( her surgery was on her upper back/lower neck)

(as Nevin would say)
She's better !!!

Rosie just stole a "kiss" from Hannah as they posed for a picture  :)

February 13, 2012

The value of a friend... prayers please

I am taking a break in our vacation recaps,
 instead taking time to acknowledge the value of a friend.  
And to ask for prayers.
Rosie joined our family almost 5 years ago.  Oh how she loved to play!  
and you probably know someone else in our family who loves to play  :)   
She joined our nest about the same time that "others" (namely Hannah and Nolan) were leaving the nest and spreading their wings.......  and while that was an exciting time for them.  It was a time of adjustment for this mama...... and also for Nevin.
Rosie helped Nevin adjust.  
(sorry the video is sideways... couldn't figure out how to rotate it)

While Rosie is my "baby" (huh,  think she helped me adjust, too?
 .....hmm, hadn't thought of that before!)
.... she has been a companion for Nevin.


homeschooled together

 played together

Shoveled snow together.

Hannah moved back home for a couple of years while she went back to school.
Sooo,  she's Hannah's baby, too.
 In fact, Hannah has been helping me SO much while Rosie has been sick.
Taking care of her while we were on vacation.
Supporting me both emotionally
 and helping me take care of Rosie.

but now..... Rosie is sick....... very sick.  *tears here*
We don't know exactly what's wrong, 
we have had multiple vet visits in the last 4 weeks.
She seems to have an infection that we can't find 
....and that antibiotics won't take care of.

Tonight, Rosie is in the hospital
Our house feels so very empty!

Please pray for us all!!  
We are all hurting in our own ways. 
We have tough decisions to make about "how far we go" 
and not everyone in our house agrees on the answer to that question.

I don't believe we go beyond our limits, beyond quality of life for Rosie, 
.......... but I am willing to go far for her........ for her unconditional love.....
for her companionship........ for her.  
I would like to be able to know what is actually going on 
and then be able to make an informed decision about the future. 

......... my heart hurts.......
please pray for Rosie's comfort and healing, 
for vet's wisdom, 
for clear answers, 
for our hurting hearts.

Thank you

February 11, 2012

Vacation: Tuesday- Golf

After a couple BIG days..... we took it easy on Tuesday,  slept in, low key day 
... walked the beach and then 
went Miniature golfing with Uncle Craig, Aunt Renee and Aunt Son.

oh, yeah........ forgot....... Nev doesn't really do anything "low key"  :)
The miniature golf place was a Pirate Ship Theme!!

 Alligators at the miniature golf.  

Then out to eat at a waterfront cafe.
And since Nevin is a full fleged Pirate now, 
he felt free to stand up in the restaurant and wave to his fellow pirates!   :)

February 9, 2012

Vacation Monday- Universal

The "BIG EVENT"!!   Universal:  Islands of Adventure
Nevin was SO SO excited to meet the villians

and the heroes!!

And he was anxious to see Jurassic Park,
sadly the Jurassic Park River Ride was down for repairs, 
but Nevin always makes fun wherever he goes!

"come'on, Mom., follow me
.....  I NOT scared!" 

oh, what parents do for their beloved children!!
Kevin and I donned our motion sickness patches 
and bravely tackled "most" of the rides.

post-adrenalin explanation!! 
and nope, you're not talking me into going on the Fear Fall

one of Nevin's other goals was to take us on a ride, 
so that MOM and DAD would get wet!
Mission accomplished!

    LOVE this picture.... and yes, I was hiding.... trying to stay dry!  

and......... the MAIN event!! 
Harry Potter's castle.  
We got to Universal early and then "rushed" 
(it felt like the running of the bulls) 
to the castle as soon as the gates opened.  
Only had to wait about 10 minutes.  
Wish I would have gotten some better pictures
....  was having some trouble with my camera settings 
after the "run" to the castle then the wild broomstick ride. 

Nevin got a wand at the wand shop..... 
and I was able to "talk him down" from the $100 Harry Potter robe
..... but it is now on my "to do" list to make one.

Nevin has a picture on his phone of him with his wand.....  haven't uploaded it yet.  You'll have to check it out on his photoblog later.  
(ummm... maybe tomorrow night)

It was a wonderful, exhausting, wet day.  
Nevin loved it!!

February 8, 2012

The Pirate Ship

Ahhh....... the ocean...... the beach!!  

Love the look on Nevin's face in this picture. 
His first time time seeing the ocean.

Yup, the bunny ears are in Florida, too!

"Tenderfoot", heading back to our condo.

Not the usual smile, huh?
I think it was shock.
He couldn't believe it.

The shock is wearing off, he's back to himself!  
There are definitely advantages to being both 
"forever young at heart"and an adult.

When you're "young at heart"
you can get your face painted

..... you get to wear pirate hats 
and raid the treasure chest for a gold necklace.

you get to "get down" with the pirate trainers

and dance with other pirates in training.

But being an adult means you get to have a beer with your dad while cruising on the pirate ship.
Yo Ho Ho and a can of beer?

..... and you can stand on the upper deck with you beer 
and wave at passing ships!

and best of all, if you older than 18 years old
you get to go up on the Captain's deck 
and meet the CAPTAIN!!

And if the Captain considers you a worthy pirate, 
he lets you STEER THE SHIP!!

Yup..... it's Pirate Bunny Ears

and a big day tomorrow........